Spices (from Latin species - fruits of the ground) have their origin in Tropical and Semi-tropical countries, and they derive from a wide variety of botanical parts - such as roots, bulbs, sprouts, flowers, berries, stems, leaves and bark. They are characterised by distinct fragrance thanks to their high content of essential oils.

The aromatic herbs originated from temperate areas such as the Mediterranean, North Africa and Middle East, are characterized by a delicate and "thin" fragrance, in contrast with the stronger, "warm" and broad one of the spices.